Great teams are like woodchippers. We need to keep the wood stacked next to them to keep them fed.

I've seen plenty of places where they avoided doing the repetitive work it takes to make sure that new tasks were ready to consume. They threw down work items in front of a team and told them to take care of it. This means that team didn't work at full speed during that time and missed the opportunity for some other incremental deliverable. 

Great teams are like woodchippers.  We need to keep the wood stacked next to them to keep them fed.

Agile has this notion of Definition of Ready, a set of criteria that must be met before a work item is ready to be picked up.  That DoR varies depending on the scope of the item, programmatic, vs quarterly vs individual task. The DoR is a checklist of criteria or check boxes that you need to satisfy in order for a team to pick it up and be successful in a short period of time.   

There are two hard times when building a cadence in a project.  There is the initial time when you think you are going to just wing it and be successful where you start building a checklist to remind you of the questions you need to ask for each job or unit of work. Then there is the point at some period out where some teams lose their edge after a period of time and they kind of slide back into the minimum work. At this point, they forget lessons learned or have turnover and have to start over again remembering what kind of acceptance criteria they need and what kind of Non-Functional Requirements are in scope that wasn't called out as part of some business request.  The DoR can help us in both situations.

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Created 2023 04


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